When it comes to Stephan and Kyriako Caras, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The design seems to be a generational thing, as the father-son duo joins forces in co-designing the Fall/Winter 18 TW (Toronto Women’s Fashion Week) collection for their label STEPHAN CARAS.
If I could use one word to describe STEPHAN CARAS it would be ‘red carpet’ because their evening gowns, cocktail dresses and suits are made to be in the spotlight. They’re practically begging to be the centre of attention as they wistfully flow behind the wearer and enchant any onlookers.
Where does one get such prowess and skill with a needle? Caras Sr. tells me that he has ‘designed for many formidable fashions houses such as Hermes, Guy Laroche, and House of Bibas’ – so it’s no wonder his designs are so eye-catching. Add in the youthful spark of son Kyriako and you have a powerful design team quarter right here in Toronto, its Atelier in a beautiful historic heritage building on Queen East.
While we can be certain that the magnitude of a runway presentation is what really grabs our attention, every fashionista also knows the details are what makes it art. That being said, Caras Sr. tells me, “the emphasis of this season’s collection is placed on the use of luxurious textures, sophisticated lines and exquisite detailing.”
“Plunging necklines, asymmetric treatments and fun, flirty contours connect to create dramatic silhouettes.” It’s quite seducing; not in a revealing way, but rather by alluding to what isn’t revealed. The opulence and femininity of the collection truly have so many layers, just like the intricacy of the confident women who wear it.
But what makes it even more impressive, is its scope. “We like to show many variations on how a certain style can be treated and it can be manipulated to create a timeless elegant piece,” Caras Sr. states. “There is no single piece that stands out, as the collection represents a creative flow in our design process and reflects the path of imagination we took when we approached each piece.”
In that sense, design trends aren’t actually the source of inspiration, but women are themselves, and their ability to be in command of their own style. “[Women] are more inclined to try new colour combinations and textures and experiment with style. Confidence and self-assurance is the most interesting trend which makes the design process more rewarding,” comments Caras Sr.
With all the warped beauty ideals out there, it’s refreshing to see a collection that really celebrates beauty in such a timeless way. “This is key to me and my focus to inspire and celebrate beauty across the board. Fashion should never discriminate or personify beauty; it simply can’t because it is art,” continues Caras Sr. “As an artist, it is contradictory to create and design objectively… Beauty is an expression and not applied.”
Along with the ability to remain subjective, rather than objective, the path to creating a captivating collection is also in the process of ‘out-doing’ oneself. There needs to be a fine balance of ‘artistically expressing yourself, materializing these concepts into reality, and making them feasible in today’s fast-paced globally driven market.’
Master that balance, and then you’ll not only get noticed by your consumer but also your peers. As records show, STEPHAN CARAS has currently been nominated by CAFA (Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards) as womenswear designer of the year.
While thrilled, Caras Sr. states that their love for design has been inherent. “Our lifetime of designing has been geared towards evoking a response and a personal connection with our audience… This nomination shows us that we are able to achieve this at some capacity and that our peers recognize this and feel connected to our lifetime dedication and creative process.”
After seeing the collection effortlessly float down the runway at TFW I couldn’t agree more, that both Stephan and Kyriako Caras have successfully breathed life into each design. Just like women, every piece was incredibly beautiful in its own way.
In terms of next moves, the Caras duo isn’t stopping with Toronto. “We do have a few shows lined up internationally in Dubai and in Athens so we have a lot to look forward to in the coming months.” And once that’s wrapped up, their goal is to be able to bring looks from the runway directly to the consumer base on-demand, delivering a couture piece that is accessible right after the presentation.
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